In your November 10, 2013 letter to Friends & Benefactors,(Fr leRoux November 2013) you are writing about authority and about Tradition, and unless Traditionalists submit to authority, they will become revolutionaries who will subvert all things Catholic.
In the first four paragraphs, you say that subversion and revolution are contrary to the wishes of God, and you use the French Revolution to make your point. Your readers will recall the comparison made by Archbishop Lefebvre and assume that you are attacking Vatican II and Conciliar Rome.
Then, in paragraph eight, a surprise is thrown in: “For the last months this subtle temptation of distrust of authority has been poisoning the ranks of the defenders of the tradition of the Church”. Since the SSPX has always considered themselves the defenders of Tradition, you are therefore clearly attacking those who resist the new orientation of the SSPX.
Further, your letter implies that Bishop Fellay has authority to which we must submit and that those who refuse to do so are subversive and offensive to God. However, Bishop Fellay has very limited authority: he is the head of a pious union of priests and thus has no real authority. Further, as a priest and bishop, with respect to the laity, he has only that authority which we grant to him through supplied jurisdiction.
Therefore, the Superiors of the SSPX are greatly exceeding their authority by refusing Sacraments to parishioners who express opinions contrary to the Superiors. Further, since the SSPX does not currently have proper canonical status, the Superior General cannot legitimately expel members. He could not even legitimately refuse access to any Superior from the General Chapter, so the exclusion of Bishop Williamson should be considered as invalidating the General Chapter, a true act of subversion that you have failed to refer to in your letter.
Further, among some SSPX faithful there is the naïve notion that the SSPX, once given a proper canonical status, will then reform Rome from within. If the SSPX priests, even from within, cannot correct the thinking of their superiors without being labeled as subversive, how could the inferior (SSPX) reform the superior (Rome)?
Your letter raises many questions. I will limit myself to three:
Why do you compare the Resistance priests and faithful to Monsignor de Talleyrand? Are they worshipping at the “altar of power”? What power are they seeking?
Is it not “treason” to expel priests precisely for what they were ordained to do: teach and defend the Catholic Faith?
Ought we submit to Bishop Fellay’s authority when he declares that Vatican II enlightens the life of the Church, that the new Mass is legitimately promulgated, that the NO Sacraments are valid, etc.? This is clearly contrary to the teachings of Archbishop Lefebvre and contrary to Catholic common sense.
In your letter you refer to “a new formal attack” that is about to be levelled at the “last vestiges of Tradition”. I am surprised at your fearful attitude when on December 28, 2012, in Canada, Bishop Fellay was optimistic about the future: ‘… we start to see the little signs that start to say that spring is coming’.
I do agree with you that it is “high time to cease this suicidal internal war” started by Bishop Fellay against the largely unsuspecting SSPX priests and adherents and fuelled by fear of punitive action directed against all outspoken individuals.
We are aware of the methods the SSPX headquarters are using when they find someone who disagrees with them. Small wonder that those who are still within the SSPX must hide and be silent – and you call them “secretive”, “anonymous” and “cowardly”! Fear and coercion are the tools of revolutionaries (today’s SSPX); fear and coercion are not the tools of the Resistance!
The Resistance is not using revolutionary methods. We are doing all we can in order to warn others of the dangers coming not so much from the Novus Ordo (we all know by now what to expect from Rome) but especially from the SSPX which has secretly morphed into an Indult entity that has nothing in common with the work started by Archbishop Lefebvre. (The novel The Stepford Wives comes to mind – a rather chilling comparison to what is happening inside the SSPX. No, I am not recommending it – read rather Spiritual Journey.)
Father, the charges that you raise in your letter were levelled at Archbishop Lefebvre. The Resistance should therefore be proud to be equally treated!
Your letter was given to me by a friend in Tradition. She noted the surprising number of harsh words that she understood to be levelled against the Resistance: subversion, Revolution, perversity, infiltrating, weapon, devil, scandalous, satanic, violent, hatred. These words are found in the first two paragraphs alone!
In the past, SSPX superiors never used to write letters of this sort! They used to write pastoral letters in which they warned us of the dangers of Conciliar Rome and they gave clear and relevant examples to make their point. But those days are over.
There is a new orientation being followed today. Paragraph five contains a most revealing statement about this new SSPX orientation: “Sometimes, when the authority in charge ceases to be faithful to its role of guardian of the common good, it falls to the defenders of Tradition to remind authority of its role and to do this even publicly, thus respecting the very nature of authority while rejecting the secretive, anonymous, cowardly methods of the subversive.”
The Conciliar Church, by adopting the new Teachings, the new Mass, the new Sacraments, the new Code of Canon Law, does not only sometimes not guard the common good, but rather the Conciliar Church never guards the common good!
By the above statement and especially by the words “sometimes” and “remind” (could you have selected a weaker verb?), you have proved that the SSPX has joined the ranks of other defectors of Tradition (Campos, FSSP, etc.).
The title of your letter to Friends & Benefactors should read “Subversion Of Tradition”. And this subversion was effected by Menzingen, not by the Resistance.
Your letter was mailed to my friend possibly because many years ago she supported financially and with her prayers a seminarian who has since become a priest. Today he is in danger of losing his faith due to the changed orientation of the SSPX.
My friend was one of the founding members of the SSPX Toronto chapel. She dedicated over two decades of her life to the support of the priests and the needs of the chapel. Today, she no longer supports the SSPX. She now supports the Resistance. She has kept the Faith.
Further, it is unworthy of the SSPX to include a brochure to raise money by advertising a talk by Dr White to give the illusion that he supports the SSPX. Dr White has been a faithful supporter of Bishop Williamson for many years, and his talk in Virginia on the 25th Anniversary of the Episcopal Consecrations on June 29, 2013 gave a morale boost to the Resistance.
For a future fund-raising project, you might consider using Dr White’s talk given in Virginia on Sophocles’ Philoctetes. The opening part is a highly entertaining commentary on the newly rebranded SSPX. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!!
Lastly, we have learned of the expulsion of Father Girouard: “Another head has rolled off the Menzingen guillotine” (Father’s own words). This is another example of the subversion of Tradition by the new SSPX. It is tragic that the SSPX is continuing to self-destruct. It is a blessing and joy to have Father Girouard in the Resistance where he can remain faithful and form future generations of Traditional Catholics.
Below is a recent sermon given by Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer in the Philippines. He speaks about the sin of silence when one ought to speak out. He makes reference to the deafening silence of the SSPX priests in the face of the Liberalism found within their own backyard, despite the fact they were especially formed to fight this very same Liberalism no matter where it rears its ugly head. What a shame!
This YouTube video is programmed to start and finish at the relevant portion which is from 27:50 to 31:55.
Here is a litmus test that indicates whether you can begin to trust a non-Sedevacantist priest’s doctrinal orthodoxy. Ask the priest if he thinks Vatican II is salvageable. If he says “no” without qualifications, then you can proceed further with him. If he says “yes”, then run in the other direction!
Here is a holy priest you can trust. Listen to this extract of his November 24, 2013 sermon given in Veneta, Oregon. This YouTube video is programmed to start and finish at the relevant portion which is from 24:20 to 27.20.
I know it has been more than two months since we published our last Edition, and some of you have been wondering what was going on. Thanks be to God, I am still alive and kicking. I have simply been too busy with parish matters (meetings of the men’s and of the women’s groups; building up the sacristy; our first baptism; blessing of a house in Bellingham, WA; improvements to our Hall; etc.), without forgetting prayer, study, and simply the day-to-day material life of the Priory. Remember that I do not have a Brother or a Sister to take care of these things. I also had some little crosses which slowed me down (I have been sick with a bug; my laptop had to be sent away for repairs; etc). Thank you for your patience and understanding! And be reassured: My parishioners are as strong and determined as ever, and they help me out a lot. Moreover, the Good Lord is supporting me in many ways and keeps me cheerful.
What about my situation with the Neo-SSPX? In mid-October I received my second and last Canonical Monition from Fr. Wegner, but it failed to change me into a “softie”, and I didn’t bother to answer it. On Monday, feast of the great martyr St. Catherine, I received, by registered and priority mail, an envelope with beautiful Swiss stamps! Yes, it was from Menzingen! From His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay himself! A letter in French, with a title in big fonts and capitals: DECREE OF EXPULSION OF REV. FATHER PATRICK GIROUARD. Yes, my dear readers, another head has rolled off the Menzingen guillotine: Mine! I will give you the full text in a later edition, but the words are pretty clear: I have been expelled!
But have I, really? I am asking the question because, even if the text of the decree is clear in itself, maybe its author will try to justify it by saying the text is ambiguous and too subtle for us to understand! Indeed, to use his own expression, we readers are not “in his head”. (Readers will remember this is how Bishop Fellay tried to justify his shameful April 15th, 2012 Declaration). Therefore, am I or am I not “out”? To be or not to be, is indeed a capital question! I had the temptation to write him and ask him what is “in his head” concerning my expulsion, but then I realized that his eventual answer would not help me out at all! Indeed, I would still be faced with the same problem when reading his second letter! I would still not be “in his head”! Therefore, I will stick to what is in my head when I read the text itself: I have been expelled!
Well, in reality, what we have to understand is that I have never belonged, and by the grace of God will never be, to the Neo-SSPX that has been created at the July 2012 General Chapter. A Neo-SSPX which has indeed opened officially the door to a recognition by Modernist Rome, despite the latest instructions of Archbishop Lefebvre. That door has remained wide opened ever since, and every single Bishop or Priest who stood up against the change have been subjected to a “legal” guillotine. Even if it is sad to see the foundation of Archbishop Lefebvre being high jacked, like Rome itself has been for a long time, there is one positive aspect to this decree of expulsion: To me, it is only an official confirmation that I have remained faithful to the old SSPX, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in November 1970! Pray for my fidelity in the combat, as I pray for yours.
There are too many in the world of Catholicism that somehow try to reconcile Vatican II with Catholic Tradition. Whether it be that Vatican II can be read in the light of Tradition, that it is in continuity with Tradition (e.g., Pope Benedict XVI’s Hermeneutic of Continuity), or even that there are errors in the Council’s documents but that these errors can be corrected and when done so would consequently make the Council acceptable, none of these positions are in line with what the saintly Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre taught, especially during his latter years, about the Council. The Archbishop saw the Council as perverted through and through. And what do you do with such a thing: condemn it, as a whole, into the dustbin of history!
Here are a few quotes of the Archbishop regarding the Council:
“It is certain that with the 250 conciliar fathers of the Coetus we tried with all the means put at our disposal to keep the liberal errors from being expressed in the texts of the Council. this meant that we were able all the same to limit the damage, to change these inexact or tendentious assertions, to add that sentence to rectify a tendentious proposition, an ambiguous expression.
“But I have to admit that we did not succeed in purifying the Council of the liberal and modernist spirit that impregnated most of the schemas. Their drafters indeed were precisely the experts and the Fathers tainted with this spirit. Now, what can you do when a document is in all its parts drawn up with a false meaning? It is practically impossible to expurgate it of that meaning. It would have to be completely recomposed in order to be given a Catholic spirit.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “They Have Uncrowned Him”, Angelus Press, English Edition, 1988, quote is contained in the Chapter called “The Robber Council of Vatican II”, Emphasis Mine)
“I do not hesitate to affirm that the Council brought to reality the conversion of the Church to the world. I leave it to you to reflect who the moving spirit of this spirituality was: it is enough for you to remember the one whom Our Lord Jesus Christ calls the Prince of this World.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “They Have Uncrowned Him”, Angelus Press, English Edition, 1988, quote is contained in the Chapter called “A Pacifist Council”, Emphasis Mine)
“This fight between the Church and the liberals and modernism is the fight over Vatican II. It is as simple of that. And the consequences are far-reaching.
“The more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II, and the more one analyzes their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, the more one realizes that what is at stake is not merely superficial errors, a few mistakes, ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, a certain Liberalism, but rather a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based on modern philosophy, on subjectivism.”
(Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “Two Years after the Consecrations”, Address Given to Priests in Econe, Switzerland on September 6, 1990, Emphasis Mine)
From these quotes, we can readily ascertain with what vehemence the Archbishop opposed the Second Vatican Council. He clearly understood the poison contained throughout its documents. This poison could not simply be separated from the texts that were in accordance with Tradition; rather, the poison was well mixed in the cake thereby making only one solution possible, and that is to reject the Council as a whole. Now although the Archbishop did not explicitly state that the Council’s documents must be rejected as a whole, it forcibly follows from he did say.
Let us now contrast the Archbishop’s words regarding Vatican II with those of Bishop Fellay as proclaimed in the Doctrinal Declaration of April 15, 2012 (emphasis mine).
“The entire tradition of Catholic Faith must be the criterion and guide in understanding the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which, in turn, enlightens – in other words deepens and subsequently makes explicit – certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church implicitly present within itself or not yet conceptually formulated.”
“The affirmations of the Second Vatican Council and of the later Pontifical Magisterium relating to the relationship between the Church and the non-Catholic Christian confessions, as well as the social duty of religion and the right to religious liberty, whose formulation is with difficulty reconcilable with prior doctrinal affirmations from the Magisterium, must be understood in the light of the whole, uninterrupted Tradition, in a manner coherent with the truths previously taught by the Magisterium of the Church, without accepting any interpretation of these affirmations whatsoever that would expose Catholic doctrine to opposition or rupture with Tradition and with this Magisterium.”
Furthermore, here is an interview that Bishop Fellay gave to Catholic News Service, which was published on May 11, 2012 (emphasis mine):
Although he stopped short of endorsing Pope Benedict’s interpretation of Vatican II as essentially in continuity with the church’s tradition — a position which many in the society have vocally disputed — Bishop Fellay spoke about the idea in strikingly sympathetic terms.
“I would hope so,” he said, when asked if Vatican II itself belongs to Catholic tradition.
“The pope says that … the council must be put within the great tradition of the church, must be understood in accordance with it. These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely,” the bishop said. “The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?”
So on the one hand the Archbishop tells us that the Council’s documents would need to be completely rewritten to give them a Catholic spirit, that the devil was the spirit guiding them, and that they represent a total perversion of the mind. However, on the other hand, Bishop Fellay tells us that the Council documents enlighten and deepen the understanding of certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church, that they must be understood in the light of Tradition without rupture, and that they must be given their place within Tradition. It is evident how radically opposed these two positions are.
For those who argue that Bishop Fellay has turned away from what he had stated last year, please be under no illusion. The conference that he gave in Kansas City on October 12, 2013 actually demonstrates that he does not find anything fundamentally wrong with what he had spoken or written. He basically only admitted that he should have been more clear in his meaning. But even to this I protest that what he had spoken and written is clear enough. And that by his words he had publicly exposed himself as an adversary, objectively speaking, of Catholic Tradition and an unfaithful son of Archbishop Lefebvre!
Dear bishops and priests of the Society of St. Pius X, please come to understand where your leader is taking you, that is, away from the position of your founder (which was nothing other than that of Catholic Tradition) and towards the “Hermeneutic of Continuity” of Modernist Rome. For those who do realize the new direction, will you not stand up and fight for the Faith? Nothing less than souls are at stake!
“In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men… All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics. Oh! if I might ask the Divine Redeemer, as the prophet Zachary did in spirit: What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands? The answer would not be doubtful: With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries. And this reproach can be levelled at the weak and timid Catholics of all countries.”
Pope St. Pius X, Discourse on the Beatification of Joan of Arc, December 13, 1908
Over 100 years ago, Pope St Pius X noted that St Joan of Arc suffered as a result of the ‘cowardice and weakness of good men’.
We too are living in the times when “good men”, either through cowardice or weakness, speak through both sides of their mouths. For example, one year ago, Bishop Fellay was ready to sign a practical agreement with Rome, while today he thanks God for having protected the SSPX from making such an agreement. Even more, today he is highly critical of the Pope, while at the same time, he continues to persecute priests who speak out against the rebranded position of the SSPX.
Persecution is nothing new to the Catholic Church. Roughly nine years after the saintly Pius X made his sad commentary, many souls were about to be persecuted by ‘the cowardice and weakness of good men’. The appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children was not unanimously met with enthusiasm. While the common people, especially the poor, were naturally drawn to Our Lady, well-placed individuals and priests in particular were not so favourably disposed. One priest, who became a defender of the children and of the Fatima apparition, was Dr Formigao, the Canon of Lisboa and professor at the Seminary of Santarem. “… He had seen the miracle of the sun. He went away believing also in the apparition: and from then on, he was a defender of the children, even in the face of a persistent persecution, all the more difficult to understand when the prime movers in it happened to be not Carbonari or Masons, but fellow Catholics, fellow priests” (page 152).
The three children went on to suffer public scorn, and priests like Dr. Formigao who supported the children in the early days of the investigations faced harshness and opposition from other priests, especially from high ranking ones. For example: “… Cardinal Mendes Belo, Patriarch of Lisboa, threatened to excommunicate any priest who spoke in favour of the apparitions. A strong and able man, he was inclined to think in terms of power, public opinion, or prudent expediency. He may have felt that when relations between Church and State were improving, it would be unwise to allow a new and untested devotion to disturb them” (page 173). Excommunication was a high price to pay for being a faithful Catholic!
Similarly today, priests who prefer to fight from within the SSPX prudently wish to avoid expulsion (excommunication?) and end up by compromising with the new position of the SSPX. While a year ago priests were not allowed to speak against Rome, it is now fashionable to take a shot at Pope Francis, but only because Bishop Fellay recognizes that he is losing support within the SSPX and thus permits this policy change. For a time…
Even some of the more prudent lay people are saying that we should fight from within the SSPX so as not to destroy Archbishop Lefebvre’s work. Do they not realize that even if Bishop Fellay were expelled, even if his henchmen were removed, the past ten+ years have dumbed down the typical SSPX attendee to the point that he will not think, talk, or evaluate? How can he fight from within?
Have the prudent Novus Ordo conservatives been able to restore the Church from within?
History repeats itself: All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics (no doubt working from within).
Sadly, Bishop Fellay continues to expel outspoken priests, and the SSPX continues to head towards double speak, modernism, and the inevitable deal with Rome.
The citations are taken from pages 152 and 173 from W.T. Walsh’s Our Lady of Fatima, 1990 Edition.
For those who think that we can and should work from within, please (re)read Thomas Walsh’s St. Theresa of Avila. She did not think that she could work from within!
Here is a translation of the recent announcement from Frs. Faure and Rioult regarding an attempt to spark the Resistance in France. We thank “The Recusant” for the English translation of the French original.
In this short conference, Fr. Joseph Pfeiffer gave an update on the happenings within the Catholic Resistance. The conference took place on November 10, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.
You can directly listen to the audio by left clicking on the “Play” button. If you prefer to download the audio file to your computer, right click the “Play” button and then left click the “Save audio as” option.